Showing posts from 2009

I can't believe it's November!

Really, where has this year gone? I'm not sure exactly, but it sure has flown by!
This month we are focusing on a lot of trips to Congaree National Park. They have a ton of children's programs and they are all free! Rock on! I love free stuff! So, we will be getting out into the fresh air a lot this month and learning about animal adaptations, doing a tree trek, and a ton of things I can't seem to dig out of my brain right at the moment!
On Halloween (CG was Darth Vadar this year) we went to a fall festival with games and trunk or treating. Oh, and a hay ride too! It was really fun. CG is already to go back next year - he says he wants to be Anikan Skywalker. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aren't they the same person? Yeah, I thought so!
After trunk or treating, CG and GM went to the Scout O Ween. They had a good time and their group won 2nd place for something. I didn't really get all the details - but good on them!
My inner reading dork is out …

About Books

I love the library. Honestly, I really do. It is, and always has been one of my most favorite places in the world. No matter where we go, even when I was in Iraq, I found the library. There's just something about books...
I've been reading a lot lately. After I completed the Twilight series, I was looking for other books and came across The Southern Vampire Chronicles by Charlaine Harris. I've heard that the HBO series True Blood is based on these books. They are extremely well written and I've enjoyed the ones I've read so far. As with the Twilight books, there are some of these that I've not been able to get from the library. I buy them, read them, loan them to a friend of mine, and then donate them to the library. I probably should keep them, but I honestly don't see the point. Why keep something I'm probably not going to read again when I can give it to the library and a lot of people can enjoy it?
Charlaine Harris just doesn't write th…

So Random

The other day I was taking a bath.  I rarely take baths - I shower.  I find I usually don't have the time or patience to just lounge in the bathtub and do nothing.  It's just the way I am I guess, but I decided to give it shot anyway.  So, I filled my tub with bubbles (Vanilla), grabbed my book (Death by Chocolate), made myself a little pillow out of towel, and decided to relax away.  I didn't do any reading, but I did do a lot of thinking.  Random thoughts about life and stuff - you get the picture.
Random thought #1 - Grammatically speaking y'all is a contraction.  For those of you who don't use the word it's a combination of 'you' and 'all' and most people write it "ya'll".  I may not know a lot about grammar (which is why I rely heavily on my teachers manual during class!) but I do know contractions.  The apostrophe takes the place of dropped letters: did not becomes didn't, can not becomes can't - you get the picture he…

Let the 'official' madness begin!

Now that "regular school" (as we like to call it here!) is back in session so are all the other activities that CG participates in - gymnastics, cub scouts, and a new addition this year CORE Possibilities.  CORE is not new to us, when CG attended private school he attended after school lessons with them.  They were extremely helpful in making him more focused and attentive during school.  Fingers crossed that we will have the same results.  So starting next week our schedule will get a little more crazy - but in a good way!
We are beginning to get our rhythm down and seem to be doing fine so far.  If you are a regular follower of my blog you know that last year I had tremendous issues trying to figure out how to implement a year round school plan.  Well, I finally figured one out and both CG and I could agree on.  We work 15 days a month from July through June and then we start again.  This gives us more "down" time during the year and has so far been far less stres…

Obama's Health Care Plan

Admittedly, I don't know that much about the health care bill that Obama is trying to get passed.  I've tried to learn, but everything I find is either all good or all bad.  Somewhere there has got to be something written by non-partisan source that explains it all, good, bad, or ugly.  If anyone knows where that might be please feel free to leave a comment with a link, I will be eternally grateful!
Now for what I DO know about government run health care.  I have a pretty good sense of it, since I was raised in the military, spent 20 years in the military, and continue to stand by my man as he finishes his military career.  I have just one word to say about military health care - HORRIBLE.  Don't forget, military health care is Government Health Care.
Some personal examples - double pneumonia diagnosed as a "cold", an almost 1 year old child almost dying of dehydration because her parents kept getting told she had the infamous "cold" and nothing could be …

I have decided....

summer is not the best time for blogging!  Not that I haven't thought about it but I quite never got around to it.
Having said that let me see if I can run through the updates without boring everyone to death!
CG enjoyed Cub Scout Day Camp.  He even asked to go back next year - something he rarely does.  I never did go to the HS Convention.  I really wanted to but you had to pay just to shop!  Ugh.
My nephew is gone.  He ended up staying until the beginning of July.  Having a 16 year old hanging around the house was a big eye opener - at least I know what I have to look forward to as CG gets older.
We did FINALLY finish second grade.  YAY!!  We also got his CAT test scores back.  He did well with the exception of Social Studies and Spelling.  No big surprise on either of those.  Overall though I was very happy and hubby was very happy.  We are in the good for homeschooling again this year!
We started 3rd grade at the beginning of this month.  Well, we attempted to start I should say!  …

It's June?

I can tell by my calendar that it is indeed June - however since we are still plugging away at school it seems like it shouldn't be.  What can you do?  We just keep plugging away and we will finally finish in 5 days! 
We spent this week doing end of year CAT testing.  I ordered my test from Family Learning Organization out of Mead, WA.  I chose them this year over the Seton testing because they offer science and social studies too.  Well, those two tests could have gone better; but I think overall it went well (except for the dreaded subtraction section that CG couldn't finish in the allotted time!).  Next year I may go through my accountability group and have him take the Iowa test.  We will have to see.
I don't know WHY I end of year test.  Well, I do know why - hubby requires it.  But since I don't teach CA (or any other state for that matter) curriculum it seems a little unfair to CG.  It was especially unfair this year since we had so many issues with subtraction we…

Happy Birthday

My dear sister. I miss you terribly.

An enjoyable month

I must say this month has been pretty darn enjoyable.  We had our family vacation trip to DisneyWorld, which rocked of course.  My dad and nephew came down from MI to visit.  My nephew actually lives in MO, but he decided to stay with us for a month or so.  We enjoy having him around.
I believe we still have about 17 days left of school.  Yeah, are we ever going to finish?  It sometimes seems like we won't but I know we will.  We have to.  And of course there are the ever present niggling thoughts that maybe I haven't chosen the right curriculum path for next year.  I've decided I just have to let it go - I will make myself nuts if I don't.  We haven't completely finished our Memorial Day unit study, but we will finish the last couple days starting tomorrow then we are going to finish our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle project pack.  I'm testing CG the first week of June, so we can carry that into the testing days.  There is light at the end of the tunnel!  I've bee…

A month? Really....

Well, it has been a long time. April was a very busy month here in the crazy south. We welcomed a new niece to our family - AP was born April 15th. She's an awesome bundle of joy. CG is thrilled to have a baby around. I'm thrilled to be living close enough to actually be a part of her life.
School is going well. I'm not sure what day we're on, but I think we have about 20 days left. The past few weeks we've been working on a new Hands of a Child Project Pack - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We started a compost jar project, and have been discussing ways to help the earth and be good stewards to what God has given us. It's been really fun. We will be finishing it up this week. I'm planning on doing an Amanda Bennett unit study on Memorial Day later this month. That will be a lot more writing than what CG is used to, but I still think it will be loads of fun. I hope he enjoys it as much as I think he will.
Next week is our mid spring vacation. We took a …

A busy week ~ kinda...

We had a lot of fun this week.  CG learned a lot about volcanoes.  He even remembered what and where the Ring of Fire was!  With no prompting from me.  I was so proud!  I think we may have found our niche in homeschooling.  He even had a great time putting the lapbook together.  Our volcano erupted pretty nicely too!  
We were not going to do school next week - following our four weeks on - one week off routine; but GM can't get the time off work until the week after.  So we are doing five with one week off then three with one week off.  Not quite enough to start a complete four week unit study - but I think I can find another lapbook to work on for a couple weeks.  Next week we will be using the Evan-Moor Ancient Civilizations History Pocket for Ancient Rome.  It is a quick look at Ancient Rome - perfect for the one week I need to squeeze it into!
Today was our scout pinewood derby.  CG came in 5th - but he always has so much fun.  Of course, if he would quit messing with the wheel…

Has it really been so long?

Obviously the answer to that is 'yes'.  Sadly, I've been meaning to get on here for a while, but just seem to run out of time.
So much has been going on; but before I continue with the everyday things (that seem oh so important ~ because they are!) I must say something about my mom.
My mom's birthday was March 21.  She would have been 63 if she was still with us.  I still miss her dearly, but have learned to block some of the bad days.  Her birthday is one of them.  So, I changed my background to bees in honor of my mom.  She loved bees - not the real kind, but she amassed a collection of bee stuff, some of which graces my desk and holds my pens.  I don't think she chose to collect bee items, I think it happened because she was known as "Mrs. B" to my friends, and "Gramma B" to the kids at the school she worked at (shout out to St. Therese in Lansing!).  Over the years they bought her bee themed gifts and as we all know, small groups of things bec…


So, here is the cake I made for CG's birthday party. Not bad for a 1st attempt!

Birthday Party, Cub Scouts, & Curriculum Stress

Saturday is CG's birthday party.  We are having a WALL E theme and I am going to bake and decorate his cake myself this year.  Well, try to decorate it at least!  I'm actually baking a cake from scratch!  Oh my goodness....
And yes, for the record, his actual birthday was last month, but when you procrastinate (which is my way) you kind of have to take what you can get!  Thankfully he doesn't care too much.
With the whole birthday party thing I've discovered another reason I love homeschooling so much - you get to invite only the people you really like!  THAT my friends is awesome!  A handpicked group of friends makes the party that much nicer.  CG and I sat down and made a list of the kids he really wanted to have there and surprisingly the group is quite varied.  Kids from ages 3 to 11 were on his list.  Very cool.
Last Saturday was his pack's Blue and Gold Banquet.  I ended up making cupcakes.  Yes, from scratch.  It was the recipe I wanted to make for CG's bir…

My Heartbreaking Conversation

Yesterday, as I was taking CG to gymnastics, we were having a conversation about the upcoming (April) birth of his newest cousin.  The boy is not lacking for cousins - the newest addition will be number 13, and he even has 3 second cousins!  But what he really wants is a brother or sister.  
It took DH and I seven years (and several miscarriages) before we were blessed with CG.  We always wanted another, but it never happened.  At 36 I started going through "the change" and so, we have CG.  
So, the conversation went something like this:
"Why can't I have a baby brother or sister?"
"Mommy can't have any more babies.  We could maybe adopt a brother or sister for you."
Which led to the conversation about adoption.  With me saying "We could adopt a brother or sister who is maybe four or five."
"I want a baby."
Dang boy, do you realize that I'm the one who would have to get up in the middle of the night and change diapers?  Both CG an…

Our Bowling Park Day

Yesterday, we had park day with our homeschool group.  Since it was pouring rain (which we desperately need so I won't complain!) we opted for the indoor bowling 'park day'.  The boy likes to bowl, as long it's not on a team, for competition.  He had a blast and everyone gets a kick out of his unorthodox (but pretty darn accurate!) bowling style.  But I'm not here to bore you to death about the bowling phenom that the boy may or may not become... no, I'm here to bore you about the excessive talker that the boy has become.  Honestly, I really don't know where he gets that - seriously!
He wanted a bottle of water.  I figured "hey, he's 8, I can clearly see the snack bar line, and I'm between there and the only exit", so I gave him a buck, reminded him about waiting patiently for his turn and to use his manners, and off he went.  There were two guys in front of him, both in uniform.  Trying not to be overly watchful (at least that he knew of!)…


Today the boy turned 8.  I find it hard to believe eight years have passed so quickly.  So tell me, why am I suddenly being subjected to Bear in the Big Blue House and Blue's Clues DVD's again?  Imagine a huge eye roll here.  I thought we were so past this mess - then he happened on some DVD's I had stashed to take to the Thrift Shop and now he's been watching these silly things all day.  UGH!  Now, don't get me wrong - if not for Bear, Blue, or Dora my son wouldn't know some spanish, and some very educational songs about the solar system, plus how to make magenta and aquamarine - but let's face it - we are not two or three anymore.  UGH again!
We do have our curriculum set for next year - mostly.  I'm still struggling in finding a math program that works for us.  It's the hardest subject I've had to deal with this year and we're only in 2nd grade!  I can't imagine how bad it's going to be when he starts doing algebra (which I barely …

In honor of CG

My dearest baby boy - who isn't really a baby anymore - is turning 8 this month.  Time really does zoom along much too quickly.
CG was born on Daytona Weekend (yes, a typical southern reference!) or President's Day Weekend to the rest of the country.  He was our definite "miracle child".  After 4 miscarriages and almost 7 years of trying we finally had our bundle of joy.  As much as we wanted another, that was not destined to be - so of course he's pretty much my life!
The time has moved quickly - too quickly.  Now he's in 2nd grade and it feels like I just brought him home.  He's doing so much on his own, which is of course what all parents want, but it still makes me feel a little sad.  
Of course, 8 is not 18 - but honestly, when I see how quickly the time has gone by, I know that the next 10 years will probably zoom and then he will be gone.  Trying to raise him to be a productive, caring, well balanced person.  Will he turn out to be everything I hope h…

Once again...

I woke up this morning and it was snowing!  Please people - this is the SOUTH!  Thankfully it was the tiniest flurries and nothing stuck.  It is still pretty cold out there though.
We had so much fun in Georgia.  I actually went shopping without CG and bought loads of stuff for my new niece!  Only about two more months and she will be here!  And believe me, shopping without the boy is something that I hardly ever get to do.  It was so fun.
I learned today that a guy I was stationed with a long time ago just died.  He was only 39.  It makes you think about all the past times.  I'm not one for living in the past but great memories are awesome!
So, we have big plans for home renovations.  Of course everything is going to have to be done one project at a time. The first order of business isn't a renovation at all - my dear husband (ok, I'll call him the Grease Monkey (GM) - sticking with the monkey theme!)is going to turn one of our spare bedrooms into a classroom for me!  Well, …

New News

This week has been a good week.  CG did very well in school.  The new schedule is going extremely well.  He is much more relaxed and so am I.  School is fun again!
Today is my sister's baby shower.  I'm so excited!  I get to have another niece!  The last niece was born over a decade ago so it's going to be so great to have a new baby in the family!  We also finally live close enough that we can enjoy the baby in person - rather than watch her grow through pictures.  This will be the first time we'll be able to do that - with any of our nieces and nephews!
So, Monday was an excellent day.  Hubby finally came home from the desert.  Believe me, those were the longest six months of my life ever!  It was so great to see him again and incredibly awesome to have him home.
Tuesday we had a homeschool group meeting.  The wording has been changed to 'faith based' group instead of 'Christian'.  I think I'm good with that for now.  We will see what happens when a …

Of Christians and Homeschooling

As many of you may know, several months ago I had issues with my support group wanting everyone to sign a statement of faith.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a Christian.  It was more of a principle thing - a group for military homeschoolers, that meets on base, shouldn't have a religious requirement.  One of the reasons I enjoy homeschooling so much is showing CG that there are other views and allowing him to decide for himself.
I've noticed in the Christian Homeschooling realm that there are two distinct beliefs about Creation.  The first is Young Earth (YE); from what I can understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong) this is the belief that God created the earth in 6 days (six 24 hour periods).  This is basically the literal interpretation of the Bible.  The second set (now just Christians, of course) is Old Earth (OE).  This is the belief (as I understand it - again correct me if I'm wrong) that while God did indeed create the earth we don't know how l…

What a Surprise!

When I woke up this morning and saw this!  This is our neighborhood.

And this is my backyard.  Now I realize that this is really no snow at all (and it's gone now too!) but I was shocked - especially living in South Carolina!
CG was happy.  After our non trip to MI he was really bummed that he wouldn't get to see snow, so this little bit helped a lot!

What a week!

But I mean that in a good way - seriously.  OK, well except for the master bath not having any water this morning!  Everything else went very good.
We started a new schedule at school.  It is working very well.  We are ahead now in a lot of things and right on with a couple others.  I'm good with that though.  CG likes the new schedule a lot better and I feel like we are accomplishing more every day.  I don't know that we are - but it feels right to spend 30 minutes on a subject instead of just reading a couple pages and moving on.  Barring any weirdness it will be the schedule we keep for the rest of the year.
It got so cold here last night (hence the no water in the master - frozen pipes I think).  Now when we lived in Spokane I can remember 20 degree days and thinking "oh it's warmer today than it was yesterday" however, now that I live in SC I'm definitely NOT used to that anymore.  We have been doing as little outside as possible the past couple days.

Homeschool updates

Are now going to be here - homeschool journal.  
I'm going to try and update daily with the assignments we've done.  It's just another way for me to keep track of stuff in case the state asks!
We started a new "loop" or "block" schedule today and it worked wonderfully.  I don't feel quite so freaked out (at least today!).  As we continue this schedule the rest of the week (and year) we will see how it works out in the end.
Luke and Judy - thanks for your wonderful and supportive comments.  A serious blessing right when I needed it!

When to quit?

Oh holy crap.  I've been so stressed out lately.  Seriously - I honestly don't know how much more I can take.  I love my son dearly.  I want to do what's best for him.  But I don't know how well homeschooling is working out.  I'm so tired all the time.  I'm basically a yelling fool most of the time - sometimes over big things (not listening is huge on our list right now!), but usually over small things.  I thought the break over Christmas would help calm me down, but I don't think it has.  Do I think I'm giving him a good education?  Yes.  I guess when he takes his test at the end of the year we will know for sure though.  So, I've been thisclose to putting him back in "regular" school - but the same problem still exists...I have no faith in the public school system here and private school is (financially) out of the question.  Then, today we were at Walmart and this older lady asks where he goes to school.  He says (proudly, as usual) I&#…

Happy New Year!

A day late, of course, but really - when am I ever on time for something anymore?  
Wow!  This year holds so much promise and fear.  Soon we will have a new president.  Can he turn things around?  What is going to happen with the economy?  So many questions rolling around in my head; we'll just have to see how everything plays out.
We have been doing a little bit of school this week.  So far just two days; but I want to do two more.  Like I said before we are getting so far behind with Sonlight I just don't know how we are going to catch back up.  My ultimate goal is to have him in Core 3 for 4th grade - but I don't know if that can or will happen anymore.  I'm going to try but who knows?  Sometimes I plan it out so much it makes my brain hurt, then it doesn't work out the way I planned and I think "oh, what a waste of time" so I'm trying to just set one long term goal (Core 3 for 4th) and work it so I can make it happen.
Christmas was wonderful.  Like m…